HOLY FACE HISTORY AND TIMELINE
~33 AD: Veronica wipes Our Lord's face with her veil and an image of His Holy Face miraculously appears on the veil. Veronica later passes the relic of the veil to Clement I (3rd successor of St. Peter). The relic of the veil was kept in catacombs for the next 3 centuries during persecutions of the Church. After that time, Holy Veil was placed in the church that was constructed over the tomb of St. Peter (later to become the Basilica of St. Peter). The Holy Veil has since been kept intact throughout the centuries.
Sister Mary of St. Peter, a Carmelite nun in Tours France experiences a
series of revelations from Our Lord about a powerful devotion He wished to
be established worldwide - the devotion to His Holy Face. The express
purpose of this devotion was to make reparation for the numerous blasphemies
and profanities taking place in the world but was also established as a
means through which we can all appeal to God for anything we wish.
1848: Sister Mary of St. Peter passes away in the odor of sanctity on July 8. Just before her death she was able to relay the details of her 5 years of revelations to the local bishop in Tours, France. She was also able to share the information with a friend named Leo Dupont, a retired lawyer in Tours, France.
1849: Shortly after the death of Sister Mary of St. Peter, Pope Pius IX ordered public prayers be offered in all churches in Rome to implore God's mercy on the Papal States due to revolution occurring at the time. As part of these public prayers, a three-day exposition of the relic of Veronica's veil was held for public veneration at St. Peter's Basilica. On the third day of the showing, a miracle occurred through which Our Lord's face on the veil became very distinct and glowed with a soft light. The Canons of the Basilica ordered the bells rung at sight of the miracle, which attracted crowds of people. The miracle lasted for three hours, was attested to by an apostolic notary during the incident, and was documented in the daybook of the Vatican Basilica.
That same evening, detailed copies of the effigy were made, and were touched to the relic of Veronica's veil, to a relic of the true cross, and to the lance which pierced Christ's side, and were later sent abroad. In years to come, a custom was followed in the Vatican where further copies of the image on Veronica's veil were created in the Vatican each year in the same manner, and sent abroad as relics of special devotion. Photos of these relics can be found on our Holy Face Images page.
1849-1876: Leo Dupont (friend of Sister Mary of St. Peter mentioned above) obtained one of the Holy Face relics created in the Vatican, and placed it on the mantle in his parlor, keeping a crystal oil lamp burning continuously in front of it as a sign of veneration. He began privately praying the Holy Face prayers (obtained from Sister Mary of St. Peter) with friends and acquaintances in front of the image. Soon afterward, miraculous healings began to occur with the friends and acquaintances who said the devotional prayers (the "Golden Arrow Prayer" and "Litany of the Holy Face"), and who anointed themselves with the oil from the lamp in front of the image. Due to the repeated miracles that happened from that point forward, Leo DuPont's parlor soon became a place of pilgrimage, and word quickly passed throughout France. These miracles continued for 30 years until Leo Dupont's death, and were so numerous that Pope Pius IX declared Leo Dupont to be perhaps one of the greatest miracle workers in Church history!
The fact that so many first class miracles occurred through this devotion attests to the authenticity of the revelations from Our Lord to Sister Mary of St. Peter.
1877: After the death of Leo Dupont, his home became the Oratory of the Holy Face.
1885: While devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus has always existed in some form or another, these revelations and miraculous occurrences lead to this special devotion being established by Pope Leo XIII as an Archconfraternity; and contrary to custom, He immediately established it for the ENTIRE WORLD. This was confirmed in the following people briefs:
1885-1897: It was a well-known fact the St. Therese of Lisieux and her family registered as members of the Archconfraternity of Reparation to the Holy Face at Tours France and that St. Therese herself was so devoted to this that she added the title to her name at the time she took the habit. This is why you will often see St. Therese referred to as St. Therese of the Child Jesus "and of the Holy Face". See our St. Therese page for more details.
1910: On April 27, 1910, Pope Saint Pius X approves a Mass of the Holy Face for the diocese of Cambrai, France.
1945: The Holy Face medal is approved by Pope Pius XII after Sister Maria Pierina receives further revelations on the Holy Face urging the medal to be made.
1958: Pope Pius XII declares the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus (Shrove Tuesday).
Unfortunately, the Holy Face devotion was slowly forgotten around World War
I. In the revelations to Sister Mary of St. Peter, Our Lord was very
specific in stating the extreme importance of this devotion for making
reparation to God, for holding back the justice of God during the evils of
our day, and for obtaining the resolution to all of the problems in our
Become a part of this timeline yourself by practicing this devotion as
explained on this site, and by spreading the devotion to others!